By STEPHEN O'KANE, Staff Writer | Published January 19, 2013
Members of the Georgia State University Catholic Student Association are giving thanks for the new gathering space dedicated to their campus ministry.
On Jan. 11, the new space, furnished with an altar, tabernacle, ambo and icons, was blessed and dedicated by Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, marking the culmination of an effort years in the making.
Rudy Schlosser, president of the GSU CSA, noticed the lack of an organized ministry for Catholic students when he was enrolled in the school in 2004. He approached the archdiocese in hopes of helping to establish a permanent Catholic presence on the campus. Schlosser and then campus minister Father Thony Jean helped bring the first Mass to campus in May 2004.
Over the next year, the group began to grow, until Mass was being celebrated three times a week on campus. Father Stephen Lyness was brought on as the new campus minister, and Schlosser was approved by the archdiocese to also serve as a full-time campus minister in 2006.
“From 2005 to 2010, the program kept growing and growing,” wrote Schlosser by email. “We had Mass four times per week, a weekly Wednesday night social, and Bible studies at various times. At the end of 2010, the university approved the GSU CSA for a permanent room. During 2011, Father Stephen led the effort to furnish this room.”
The new 26-seat chapel, which cost an estimated $10,000 according to Schlosser, is located on the fourth floor of the Georgia State University Student University Center at the corner of Piedmont and Gilmer streets. The GSU CSA will continue to host Mass on campus four times a week, Monday through Thursday. There are plans for establishing regular Eucharistic adoration, though no details have been set forth.
“So many students totally love that there is a Catholic presence on campus—whether these students are Catholic or ‘Catholic friendly,’” wrote Schlosser.
“We try to minister to all students who have an interest to get closer to Jesus via the Catholic faith. Many students and administrators love that there is a permanent Catholic Christian chapel/oratory on campus.”